Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm

Moose

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Hi everybody!

I'm new, so thanks for the patience as I figure out this forum and where I should post stuff. Mods, if you'd like to delete the other two posts that I put up in inappropriate places that would be great.

About me: I'm a drilling reservist in the AF. I'm a major, I served 12 years active, now have 1.5 good years in the reserves (roughly 4500 total points.) My job is C-17 pilot, so naturally a lot of time spent overseas as part of my normal job (even without deployments).

About my condition: I've been diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurysm. It measures 4.5 on the CT, 4.7 on the echo. Though I'm 6'6" they've told me I'm not Marfan (I'm 35, so they probably would have caught it by now.) My profile has me on no PT testing, no heavy lifting, no maximal effort, and currently no deployment. Additionally, until the retention issue is decided, I'm DNIF (can't fly).

About my LOD: The VA hinted at it when I separated (they did an echo for some reason), but they never diagnosed it. I never heard back from them. I worked off and on for the first year, but started 179-day orders 3 months ago. A month into those I asked the MTF to look into my heart. I'm confident that the LOD will come back in my favor since I was on such a long set of orders at the time.

About my situation/goals: I'm now beginning the MEB/PEB process. I've done all the cardiology tests/consults at the MTF, so now my unit's doctors have taken over. I really don't know where they're going to go with the whole thing. Based on what I understand, my goal now is to get medically retired, since this won't stop my airline job and represents quite a bit of money if I can retire now.

My questions:
1. Do I read the DODFMR correctly in my retirement compensation? I would get up to 60% (my eventual disability rating) of my base pay as a Major? My high 3 is about $7K, so 60% would mean a check every month of about $4200, maybe $1200 from the VA and the rest from DoD.

2. What are the current trends in the PEB for a condition like this? I can't find a reg or instruction that gives PEB members marching orders about this. Is it just a matter of me not being able to deploy and that driving a separation per the policy memo I saw from earlier this year?

3. At what point will I get a liaison or somebody that can help me navigate this process? a PEBLO maybe? What can I do to hurry it along?

4. Is there anything I might not be thinking about? I'm looking to start a dialog with folks that have been through this (if even only tangentially).

Thanks everybody!

-Moose
 

Padgettra

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hi everybody!

I'm new, so thanks for the patience as I figure out this forum and where I should post stuff. Mods, if you'd like to delete the other two posts that I put up in inappropriate places that would be great.

About me: I'm a drilling reservist in the AF. I'm a major, I served 12 years active, now have 1.5 good years in the reserves (roughly 4500 total points.) My job is C-17 pilot, so naturally a lot of time spent overseas as part of my normal job (even without deployments).

About my condition: I've been diagnosed with a thoracic aortic aneurysm. It measures 4.5 on the CT, 4.7 on the echo. Though I'm 6'6" they've told me I'm not Marfan (I'm 35, so they probably would have caught it by now.) My profile has me on no PT testing, no heavy lifting, no maximal effort, and currently no deployment. Additionally, until the retention issue is decided, I'm DNIF (can't fly).

About my LOD: The VA hinted at it when I separated (they did an echo for some reason), but they never diagnosed it. I never heard back from them. I worked off and on for the first year, but started 179-day orders 3 months ago. A month into those I asked the MTF to look into my heart. I'm confident that the LOD will come back in my favor since I was on such a long set of orders at the time.

About my situation/goals: I'm now beginning the MEB/PEB process. I've done all the cardiology tests/consults at the MTF, so now my unit's doctors have taken over. I really don't know where they're going to go with the whole thing. Based on what I understand, my goal now is to get medically retired, since this won't stop my airline job and represents quite a bit of money if I can retire now.

My questions:
1. Do I read the DODFMR correctly in my retirement compensation? I would get up to 60% (my eventual disability rating) of my base pay as a Major? My high 3 is about $7K, so 60% would mean a check every month of about $4200, maybe $1200 from the VA and the rest from DoD.

2. What are the current trends in the PEB for a condition like this? I can't find a reg or instruction that gives PEB members marching orders about this. Is it just a matter of me not being able to deploy and that driving a separation per the policy memo I saw from earlier this year?

3. At what point will I get a liaison or somebody that can help me navigate this process? a PEBLO maybe? What can I do to hurry it along?

4. Is there anything I might not be thinking about? I'm looking to start a dialog with folks that have been through this (if even only tangentially).

Thanks everybody!

-Moose
Moose, You are tracking for the most part and it all depends on how your claim is adjudicated by the MEB/IPEB/FPEB. I had a great PEBLO and received information and a IDES booklet that helps with the big picture an the attached PEBLO briefing (current as of May 2018). We all worry about the details. A LOD would be great for you as to the total process so best of luck as you navigate the claim process. Ron P
 

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Moose

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Moose, You are tracking for the most part and it all depends on how your claim is adjudicated by the MEB/IPEB/FPEB. I had a great PEBLO and received information and a IDES booklet that helps with the big picture an the attached PEBLO briefing (current as of May 2018). We all worry about the details. A LOD would be great for you as to the total process so best of luck as you navigate the claim process. Ron P
Thanks Ron!

One question, is this condition definitely going to a PEB? My flight doc (an ophthalmologist) send to not be terribly concerned deployability-wise. Is the only way to secure a PEB and eventual retirement to be to get him and his fellow med group doctors to agree I'm never deployable again?

I apologise if this is in the handbook, I just haven't gotten a chance to read through it yet.
 

RonG

Super Moderator
Staff Member
PEB Forum Veteran
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[selected excerpts]
About me: I'm a drilling reservist in the AF. I'm a major, I served 12 years active, now have 1.5 good years in the reserves (roughly 4500 total points.) My job is C-17 pilot, so naturally a lot of time spent overseas as part of my normal job (even without deployments).

My questions:
1. Do I read the DODFMR correctly in my retirement compensation? I would get up to 60% (my eventual disability rating) of my base pay as a Major? My high 3 is about $7K, so 60% would mean a check every month of about $4200, maybe $1200 from the VA and the rest from DoD.

-Moose
1. If your disability is found to be permanent and is rated at 30 percent or greater, or you have 20 or more years of service, you will be placed on the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL). Your retired pay will be computed using one of two methods.
a. Your disability percentage, referred to as Method A. EXAMPLE: 60% x high three (this method is usually most beneficial for Chapter 61 retirees)
b. Your years of active service, referred to as Method B. EXAMPLE: 12 years active duty equivalent x 2.5% x high three
Your pay will be computed based on whichever method is more beneficial for you.

2. The amount determined by method A or method B is reduced dollar for dollar in the amount of VA compensation received. EXAMPLE: IF the retired pay computed at item one was determined to be $4200 and the retiree also received $1200 from the VA for compensation, the following would result:
--4200 gross retired pay minus 1200 VA Offset = 3000 residual retired pay from D0D to the retiree + 1200 VA compensation = 4200 each month

3. Approved Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) could restore some or all of the waived retired pay shown at item 2. You can download CRSC information on this site at
CRSC for a disability retiree is the lesser of:
--Dollar amount of the longevity portion of the retired pay
or
--The CRSC percentage approved by the service; the percentage amount can be found in the VA Compensation Tables.
Note: Any residual retired pay as shown in the example at item 2 will reduce the amount of CRSC determined.

Another Ron
 

Moose

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
1. If your disability is found to be permanent and is rated at 30 percent or greater, or you have 20 or more years of service, you will be placed on the Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL). Your retired pay will be computed using one of two methods.
a. Your disability percentage, referred to as Method A. EXAMPLE: 60% x high three (this method is usually most beneficial for Chapter 61 retirees)
b. Your years of active service, referred to as Method B. EXAMPLE: 12 years active duty equivalent x 2.5% x high three
Your pay will be computed based on whichever method is more beneficial for you.

2. The amount determined by method A or method B is reduced dollar for dollar in the amount of VA compensation received. EXAMPLE: IF the retired pay computed at item one was determined to be $4200 and the retiree also received $1200 from the VA for compensation, the following would result:
--4200 gross retired pay minus 1200 VA Offset = 3000 residual retired pay from D0D to the retiree + 1200 VA compensation = 4200 each month

3. Approved Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) could restore some or all of the waived retired pay shown at item 2. You can download CRSC information on this site at
https://www.pebforum.com/resources/supplement-to-crsc-information.103/
CRSC for a disability retiree is the lesser of:
--Dollar amount of the longevity portion of the retired pay
or
--The CRSC percentage approved by the service; the percentage amount can be found in the VA Compensation Tables.
Note: Any residual retired pay as shown in the example at item 2 will reduce the amount of CRSC determined.

Another Ron
Thanks other ron, that matches my math. And if I understand correctly, that doesn't change just because I'm a reservist right? To be clear I'm currently on long term orders greater than 31 days and I'm operating under the assumption that I'll have a favorable LOD determination.
 

RonG

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Staff Member
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Registered Member
Thanks other ron, that matches my math. And if I understand correctly, that doesn't change just because I'm a reservist right? To be clear I'm currently on long term orders greater than 31 days and I'm operating under the assumption that I'll have a favorable LOD determination.
It is essentially the same. Good luck...
Ron
 

Padgettra

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Thanks Ron!

One question, is this condition definitely going to a PEB? My flight doc (an ophthalmologist) send to not be terribly concerned deployability-wise. Is the only way to secure a PEB and eventual retirement to be to get him and his fellow med group doctors to agree I'm never deployable again?

I apologise if this is in the handbook, I just haven't gotten a chance to read through it yet.
Moose, No this would not be in the IDES handbook for it just covers the process. Only the Military doctor that initiates the MEB can determine that to my knowledge, then the IDES process adjudicates the condition and makes the decision on how your separation will occur. Ron P
 

Moose

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Hi Ron's,
Here's another question. I'm almost certainly on a profile limiting me to a waist measurement only PT test for the rest of my life. They may or may not decide to waive this condition for the purpose of deployability. Is the PT profile enough to get retired on? Or is the deployment thing the controlling item? Just trying to know which I should be focusing my discussions with the docs on.

Moose
 

Padgettra

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Hi Ron's,
Here's another question. I'm almost certainly on a profile limiting me to a waist measurement only PT test for the rest of my life. They may or may not decide to waive this condition for the purpose of deployability. Is the PT profile enough to get retired on? Or is the deployment thing the controlling item? Just trying to know which I should be focusing my discussions with the docs on.

Moose
Moose, That is a very good question and (in my opinion) it depends on how your AF 469 profile is written and why? I was on the same type profile for around three years and that is not the condition (cause) of the MED board. It was when the Medical Group (military Doctor) deduced that the medical condition was unfitting that the MED board was initiated. Not really an answer, yet a data point. Ron P
 

chaplaincharlie

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PEB Forum Veteran
Lifetime Supporter
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If I were in your shoes, I'd be getting a copy of that echo from when you left AD ASAP.
 

Moose

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
All,

Thanks so much for all the help thus far. This forum has been invaluable.

An admin LT in the med squadron suggested that I get proof of my aneurysm from the VA and use it to get recalled to active duty for an MEB with them. I'm interested in the group's thoughts on that.

If (and it's a big IF) the VA has the ultrasound and if it proves I had this condition on active duty, is it worth it to try to get recalled?
-The LT says the chief pro would be that AFRC is likely to give me an assignment limiting code and keep me in the service in a UTA only, administrative type role. Whereas active duty would be more likely to retire me outright.
-The cons as I see them revolve around being retained by active duty and then not having any good options. If they decided to keep me with an ALC, I could stay in in a staff role (I left active duty for a reason) or I could separate but would then be ineligible for the reserves, thus giving up on any kind of retirement whatsoever.

Anyway, am I missing anything on this? Has anyone heard of being recalled to active duty for the purpose of a med board?

Moose
 

chaplaincharlie

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Only you can make that decision. Having lost my health for several years, I can tell you it is paramount to relationships and activities.
 
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